College Tribune Entertainment Supplement 15.9.09
â€œI think you have to be comfortable in your own skin and I suppose the older I get, the more comfortable I getâ€? The Flaws Dead CAt Bounce Dorian Grey Campus Style Mos Def
15 . 1 . 09
The Siren 15.9.09
On Our Playlist
In a good week for anyone with a taste for anything punk rock, Indie punk label Sideonedummyare giving away a free sampler download on their website with an albums worth of material from bands such as The Gslight Anthem, Anti-Flag and The Casualties. Also giving away a free download are English hardcore phenomenon Gallows for all who sign up to their mailing list.
Jim Scully spends a night out with the Flaws Page 5
This week saw Muse release their follow up to Black Holes & Revelations, The Resistance was released yesterday and has already received high praise from critics. Today sees the release of The Beastie Boyslatestalbum, The Hot Sauce Committee pt.1, which features guest appearances by artists such as Enya, Nas and Santigold.
With their latest album Humbug behind them, Artic Monkeyshave announced a Dublin date on their upcoming tour. Tickets went on sale last friday for their November 26th date at the o2, with support coming from Eagles of Death Metal. The following night, November 27th, Bellx1 play a one off gig at the Olympia theatre, tickets are on sale now. Summer sensation Florence and The Machineplay the Olympia on December 7th, tickets are on sale now.
Philip Connolly gets wired with Dead Cat Bounce Page 11
London rapper DeBelle of the ball at the Mercury awards
London rapper Speech DeBelle picked up the Mercury Prize for her album Speech Therapylast tuesday, beating off competition from acts such as LaRoux, Kasabian, Glasvegas, and the hotly tipped favourite to win, Florence and The Machine. The album which tells her story of a supposed troubled upbringing in South London had sold less than 3000 copies at the time of her nomination. Speech Therapy will undoubtedly go from an unheard nominee to a chart success now that it has been given the seal of approval from the music industry. However it remains to be seen if Speech DeBelle will follow in the success of former winners like Franz Ferdinand, the Artic Monkeys, and Dizzee Rascal, or fall away into the unknown like many winners in the past.
Kevin Stone Keane -hopes and fears -underthe iron sea
Back To Work For the Heros
The line-up of 2009’s Hard Working Class Heros Festival has been unveiled with 99 local bands taking to the stages in temple bar from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th of October. The festival showcases the best of new Irish music and this year will feature bands such as Ham Sandwich, Heathers and Adebisi Shank as well as many, many others – 96 others to be exact. Tickets for the weekend are a bargain at €40 for a weekend of great music and more.
John Wyatt Marilyn Manson -Mechanical animals Placebo -Meds
Fashion Steven Cadwell Charles Mingus -The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
Don’t Hide From The Computers
Aoifa Smyth History of..... The High Heel Page 9
“So this is the plan, we wanna fuse rock n roll music with hardcore.” So say Exeter’s The Computers, a band who’s sound can’t really be pigeon holed into any one genre all that easily.“This stems from a deep love for bands such as Black Flag, Minor Threat, The Germs, The Nerve Agents aswell as The Clash, Chuck Berry and anti rock n roll such as Elvis Costello & The Attractions.” One listen to 2008’s mini album “You Can’t Hide From The Computers” and it’s easy to see the vast pool of influences the band draws from. The album opens with “Teenage Tourettes Camp”, a rip-roaring collage of hardcore vocals combined with an aggressive take on traditional 1950’s style rock n’ roll riffs,
with a dab of bluesy harmonica thrown in for good measure. A track which sets the tone for the next eighteen minutes and fifty five seconds. Within nineteen minutes The Computers rage through seven tracks of refreshing hardcore. The album ranges in material from straight-up, fast paced hardcore on “Love The Music, Hate The Kids”, to tracks like “Please Drink Responsibly” with guitars which wouldn’t see the band out of place at a blues club wear it not for lead singer Alex Kershaw’s harsh snarling vocals.And what influences such a cocktail of sounds? “The general shitness of day to day life, being bored, Exeter, sex and people.” In a time when punk rock and hardcore all too often keeps recycling the same old routine, The Computers provide something a little more interesting and forward thinking. With such a unique style, The Computers have been gaining a lot of media atten-
tion lately including two sessions at Maida Vale studios for BBC Radio 1 and coverage in NME, Kerrang and Rock Sound magazines. Having taken to the stage at this years Download and Reading and Leeds festivals, the band look set to reach new levels in the near future. No strangers to the road the band are once again leaving behind their beloved home town to continue what has been a hectic year of touring for the band, as they strive to bring their punk hybrid to your ears. You can’t hide from The Computers. The Computers play Belfasts Mandela Hall on October 3rd along with locals Panama Kings. www.myspace.com/thecomputersfromexeter
Candy Wilde Dolly Parton - Here you come agai
The Siren 15.9.09
The XX XX 8.4 Many bands, on entering the studio, can’t resist the opportunity to throw in the kitchen sink. So they smother their recordings with brass parts, keyboard stabs, mechanical gnomes and anything else to hand. Which makes the XX so refreshing. At 19, the London band understand the importance of space. Every guitar riff, bassline or snappy electronic hand clap is there because it needs to be. This album is the definition of restrained, every beat measured, if not quite to perfection, then damn near close. Strongly influenced by modern R&B-- the group made hay with an early cover of Womack & Womack’s “Teardrops”, and their album includes a version of Aaliyah’s “Hot Like Fire”-- the xx use a drum machine to complement their copiously tidy compositions. Unlike contemporary R&B fetishists Hot Chip or Discovery, who have clearly spent long hours internalizing Timbaland, the Neptunes, and other radio cognoscenti, the xx incorporate more abstract elements of the genre: a liberal use of bass tones and an unwavering focus on sex and interpersonal relationships. Singer-guitarist Romy Madley Croft in particular seems all but incapable of uttering a line that isn’t a come-on, a post-coital musing, or a longing apology for a lack of one of the former. During “Islands” or “Basic Space”, her voice takes on a pleasant softpop vibe, like Stevie Nicks’. When Madley Croft sings, during “Shelter”, “Maybe I had said/ Something that was wrong/ Can I
Mos Def The Ecstatic 7.3 by philip connolly There’s something almost mythical about Mos Def, always flying somewhat under the radar, his legend residing in sporadic exploits that few remember too clearly. Yet on only his fourth album in ten years he seems to have found the energy and panache that marked his debut ,“black on both sides”, out as a classic ten years ago. This is Mos Def ’s small-globe statement, an album that comfortably jumps stylistically across continents on a hip-hop goodwill-ambassador tour, prefaced by a statement from Malcolm X “I, for one, will join in with anyone, I don’t care what colour you are, as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth.” It’s a high-minded intro for an album that most people will hear first and foremost as the comeback bid of a rapper-turned-
actor, it also serves as an important indication that Mos Def actually cares, and that he has a stake in something greater than just one corner of the rap world.First single “Life in Marvellous Times” builds a furious narrative -- moving from the rapper’s project upbringing to the present, where wonders and terrors abound -- over an epic, sticky synth beat . While he professes to send his message to the “penthouse, pavement, and curb,” it’s the grimy, not glossy, that dominates here.“Wahid” continues an Eastern theme as Mos lyrically collapses the inner city and the battlefield, two places where guns and bulletproof vests proliferate, invoking Obama on “History,” Mos trades rhymes with old partner Talib Kweli, powerfully asserting that the present remains tense -- and hope still has a lot of work to do
Chuck Regan Gold Country By Jim Scully Given the cult following that Hot Water Music amassed over their time together, long time fans of the band will most likely fall in love with any material released by the band’s front man no matter how much it differs from the his work with Hot Water Music. However, anyone expecting a sound similar to the Florida native’s raw punk roots will be somewhat surprised by the style Chuck Ragan has developed for himself over the past few years. Gold country picks up where 2007’s feast or famine left off. Although the sound is similar to that of the previous record, Gold Country draws more heavily off Ragan’s country influences. The musical arrangements are somewhat more refined than the thumping acoustic guitars of Feast or Famine, most notably
7.4 on the passionate “Cut em down” and “Don’t say a word”. However there are still enough rousing sing along’s on this record to be somewhat reminiscent of Hot Water Music’s charm, particularly “The Trench”, which has an infectious rhythm despite the country style fiddle playing that can often be quite grating on the ear. Gold Country, like the previous album shows a much different side to Chuck Ragan, one which highlights the power of his coarse vocals and song writing abilities.
make it better/ With the lights turned on,” it’s unclear whether lights-turned-on activity is sex or... something besides sex. She’s not some purring kitten, though, merely reflective about a subject we don’t often associate with teenagers and self-awareness. There’s a singular bleakness to their debut album, which sounds like it’s been made by moonlight by a grim team of introverts, half-drunk and lonely. Listening to it with the level of attention it demands gives you a sickly jealous feeling at the intimacy, like reading other people’s love letters. It’s a waste of time looking for big hooks or moments of release, but absorbed properly this becomes quietly transcendent. Somehow, its songs are welcoming despite their insularity. You will find few better debuts this year, but as admirable focus and restraint is there are times that you wish they would let loose, if only for a moment. The record is not a complete break with recent sounds: tune in during certain moments of “Crystalised”, and you’ll hear the flecked, staccato guitars of Interpol. “Infinity”’s slow-strummed electric chords feel like late-period Radiohead, and at times it even echo’s last years dub step masterpiece “untrue” by Burial. xx is nervy and self-contained, the product of a new band thinking a lot harder about topics-- sex, composition, volume-- than we are accustomed to new bands thinking. It is so fully formed and thoughtful that it feels like three or four lesser, noisier records should have preceded it.
Jaime T Kings and Queens 10.0 By shane fitzgerald Mr Treays has returned to the musical fold this year with a slew of excellent new releases. Starting with the “Fire, Fire” single in January and the Sticks ‘N’ Stones and Chaka Demus EPs over the summer, the eagerly awaited sophomore album Kings and Queens was released on September 7. Still imagining gritty depressing London life, Mr T is as vulgar a poet as ever. The opening track is called “368” (as in the amount of mls in a pint!) and the need to be wasted to cope. He doesn’t forget to remind us again, though, that he’s a proud lightweight, with an ever-present rogue-ish charm that illuminates the album. This second LP continues in
the same vein, and the music is as eclectic as the multicultural London jungle he thrives in. Just about maintaining the raw sound, every song is well crafted and yet masterfully produced. There are fewer ballads this time out but every song is bursting with life or soul and insanely addictive. Try resist Chaka Demus or Stick ‘N’Stones! Picking up where he left off on 2007s Panic Prevention, Jamie T pushes on with Kings and Queens and matures into a topnotch musician.
Once you Pop… With the aid of planes, trains and alcoholic
beverages, Katherine Creagh dives into the remarkable music and array of activities available to those at Belgium’s Pukkelpop To bring wellies or not to bring wellies? This was the dilemma I faced while packing for the Pukkelpop festival in Kiewit, Belgium. For the millionth time the weather forecast was checked and for the millionth time, it had changed. Helpfully, it was made clear there was meant to be a storm at some point so they were packed for safety reasons. One cheap flight, one bus and four trains later, the destination was reached. Although, I was struggling under the burden of the weight of the alcohol purchased for the weekend in 35 degree heat and was wondering, perhaps the wellies were a bad idea after all? The next day was the hottest day ever recorded in Belgium, 38 degrees Celsius. Luckily the dance tent offered some relief in the form of a dark tunnel of repetitive beats, with six cannons shooting cool water vapour high above our heads. Some Acts on the mainstage included Paolo Nutini, Razorlight, The Offspring and Faith No More. My Bloody Valentine, Bon Iver and Dizzy Rascal played the Marquee, where the crowd went quite literally, bonkers. There was a huge selection of food and a local newspaper stand giving away free blow up cushions, hats and even tents, everything in the shape of breasts. There was also a “Petit Bazaar” where there were daily freak shows and wrestling matches.
e d i u G GIG
That night the heat broke with an amazing storm. Thunder rolled above our heads, louder than most of the amplifiers, and mother nature was putting on her own astounding light show in the form of fork lightning. The much debated wellies were at long last some use. Acts on the main stage included, New Found Glory, Eagles of Death Metal, the Ting Tings, Snow Patrol Placebo, Vampire Weekend and Vitalic on the other stages. I soon learned that when eating and sleeping as little as I was, I would become a lot more inebriated on a lot less alcohol. The night was a blur of lights and sounds, and of course, a lot of crowd surfing. The next morning I had a mysterious bruise the size of my hand on my thigh. The mystery remains. The next day, bruise and all, I watched 50 Cent strut his way around the main stage, changing his outfit no less than three times and then the act I’d been waiting for all weekend, N*E*R*D. And even with all the transport, of which the train journey to and from is included with your festival ticket, it still worked out cheaper than Irish festivals. So next year, take a break from the terrible Irish weather and go to lovely Kiewit for an experience you’ll never forget.
ever, if you want to see one of the few remaining bands from the 1977 punk explosion, this is your chance.
Size 2 Shoes – Crawdaddy September 16th €12 (concession for students)
Angelic Upstarts – Fibber Magees September 16th €19 With original singer Mensi back at the mic, legendary Oi! Punks Angelic Upstarts make their way to Dublin for a night of punk sure to draw a crowd that spans the generations. Although there are sure to be plenty of bands playing on the night, €19 is a bit pricey for a gig in a pub, especially for a band that is famed for their support of worker’s rights. How-
Can i Be Electric Too? Cathy Buckmaster braved the deceptively deep mud blanketing the Electric Picnic to lose herself in the sounds, tastes and smells of the always ethereal, boutique festival. Waiting in a two hour, crawling traffic jam in the humid heat to finally arrive on site, drag your 40 pound luggage a 30 minute walk across the muddy madness and discover the tiny, permeable, overpriced tent you snapped up last minute that morning has come without pegs, isn’t the best way to start your festival weekend. Yet, there’s something about the Electric Picnic that makes you mellow out; whether it’s the sweet and savoury aromas wafting from all the delicious sustenance or maybe the vibrant, dazzling colours from the eclectic eccentric outfits. Could even be the scattered, glittering lights or the huge circus tents and the spinning Victorian carnival rides dotted about. The ethereal, fairy-themed boutiques and the tiny tea cafés with their cosy wood fires and rising steam remain, as always, very charming. As is the creativity buzz enveloping the crafts centre. Not to mention, the hypnotising music flowing from every corner. Concerning the lyrical end of things, possibly the most mainstream band present were Brooklyn’s MGMT who pulled a large crowd with their celestial indie-pop but didn’t manage to land huge impact due to the outdoor setting. Apart from when they brandished fan favourites, Electric Feel and Time to Pretend, which had many festival goers seeing fireworks. Irish favourites Rodrigo and Gabriella impressed the elated crowd with their pulse-quickening, impos-
the night as they continue their current tour around the country, bringing with them new material from the studio. Neither band strangers to the stage at UCD, this promises to be a great gig.
William Elliot Whitmore Brings his brand of folk and blues to Whelans. Currently Signed to ANTI records, his sound is what you would expect from a label that has put out releases from Tom Waits, Nick Cave and The Frames in the past. Simple yet smart songwriting that varies from hand clapping sing alongs to slow bluesy ballads. If you like your folk with an edge, this is for you.
Republic of Loose/The Flaws – UCD Student Club September 17th €10 Dublin natives Republic of Loose are set for yet another energetic night at UCD student club. Famed for their exciting live show it’s unlikely they will disappoint this time round.
sibly frenetic yet skilful acoustic strumming and a sky-high energy performance in the intimate Electric Arena. Lisa Hannigan managed to impressively hold her own on the Mainstage with her soft yet soulful crooning hypnotising all the muddied passers by. Kate Bush-esque Marina and the Diamonds were a surprise find with their simple yet uniquely upbeat, catchy numbers. Sunday saw many delicate heads returning to their tents midday to rest their noggins after the alcohol, and god knows what else, fuelled night before. However, all arose in time for the invigorating Florence and the Machine performance, who, despite her rapidly rising star, chose to perform in the tented Electric Arena, much to their advantage. The atmosphere was electric as the feral sounding songs, Cosmic Love and Dog Days soared out across the dancing and leaping crowd. Rabbit Heart ended the performance on a breathtaking note leaving the engrossed audience on an ethereal high. The performance alone was enough to make you feel the seemingly steep €240 was well spent. However, as well as all this, the excellent organisation, tight security, short queues and, well, decent cleaning attached to the Electric Picnic makes sure it provides the much desired boutique festival for those sick of scumbags drinking cider to excess and then pissing/vomiting on their tent in the middle of the night á la Oxegen.
Following their set at UCD fresher’s ball in the academy The Flaws will also play on
William Elliot Whitmore – Whelans September 20th €13
Limerick’s Size2Shoes have been making a name for themselves recently in the Irish music scene, earning themselves quite a bit of media exposure. The duo have plenty of experience having recorded with artists such as Sinéad O’Connor, Moya Brennan and The Chieftans. The pair have used their experience to create their own blend of celtic infused folk-rock. This September 16th date celebrates the launch of their self-titled album.
The Siren 15.9.09
The Cribs – The Academy September 21st €22 Having just released their fourth album, Ignore The Ignorant, England’s indie hero’s stop off at the academy for a date, before continuing their hectic touring schedule that leads them across Europe and the Atlantic and back again. Tight T-shirts and skinny jeans at the ready for this one.
CLub Night What?
SHAKER: A night of indie, electro and hip-hop.
Why not? Shaker is being run by the same people who are behind one of Belfast’s favourite club night’s, Sketchy. For anyone who has been out in Belfast on a Thursday night will probably know what to expect, for those that haven’t, expect a party atmosphere along with a healthy blend of all types of music.
Where? The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, Dublin. When? Wednesday Nights, doors open 11pm.
How much? Admission is €8, or €6 with a student card, and drinks offers on the night.
The Siren 15.9.09
Without a Flaw in their Plan
The Flaws cheerfully took Jim Scully under their wing while passing the long hours before taking to the stage at the UCD Freshers Ball. Having played at major festivals like Oxegen, Electric Picnic and Glastonbury, it would be very easy for The Flaws to have developed a high opinion of themselves, but seemingly the band remain unaffected; “When you’re sleeping in the van, it’s a reminder of your status.” Paul Finn, singer in the Flaws, wearily comments. After the success of 2007’s Achieving Vagueness, The Flaws have seen many of the highs of the Irish music industry; they have a Choice Music Prize nomination for the album and slots at festivals at home and abroad all under their belt. After a busy 2008, the band took a break from touring to return to the studio earlier this year to record the follow up to their first album. Halfway through the recording process the band are hitting the road again to promote their upcoming single, “Hope Hope,” due out on September 25th. With eight new tracks recorded and eight to go, the first night of the tour finds the assorted members of The Flaws sitting around a small dressing room in Dublin’s Academy as they try to pass the nine hour wait before they are due to hit the stage. Before I launch into the interview, the ever-friendly members of The Flaws do their best to ensure I feel at home. A leather armchair, complimentary M&M’s, of the peanut variety and a warm beer later, we can get on with business. However, not before the comparisons are made to Patrick Fugit’s character in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous. At this point the band have already spent three hours waiting around the venue, needless to say cabin fever has begun to set in. The band members are scattered and slouched on chairs around the dressing room; making the most of every opportunity to crack a joke, doing their best to entertain themselves. Let the fun begin. Lead Singer Paul Finn explains the need to take a break after the whirlwind that fol-
lowed Achieving Vagueness, “We had to stop for a while and work on new songs, we couldn’t keep just playing the same songs; we’re turning into the Sex Pistols.” “Since we finished touring with the last album, we started kind of writing straight away, continued writing until we hit another patch where we thought these were really strong songs for an album, not all necessarily hit singles but they would gel together well on an album for more of a ‘listening sensation’, more than just a bunch of singles, not saying that they were all singles.” Before conversation begins to sound too serious, guitarist Shane Malone makes sure to follow up the singer’s comments with his own opinions, his dry humour emerging, “But eight of them were singles. It’s shallow like that.” When I mention the success of the “shallow” first album with regards to the awards nominations, I am reminded quickly that it was “mainly just nominations. It was a good night out but my mother was more bothered.” He comments with the weariness of a hesitant mammy’s boy. With all the light hearted banter it would be easy to think that The Flaws didn’t really take their place in the music world all that seriously. Yet, behind it all is a band hard at work building on the success of Achieving Vagueness, and talking to singer Paul Finn, it’s clear that the band are taking it very seriously. With the band aiming for a February release date, the band’s thoughts are focused on their objectives; “record the album and tour. Just really, record the album. We’ll be doing well to get it out in February, that’s really all we’re thinking about; making it as good as possible.” Given the rate at which the band is working on the new record, it’s easy to see why they’re taking the time out of the studio. “We go six days at a time, work really hard
then have a listen back over what we’ve done. Then, we either go in and change it or go in and do something new. It is going be good, but that’s just our view.” Having tested some new material on friends and family, the recording process seems to be going in the right direction, “We played it for friends, they seemed to like it. They could be just saying that.” He comments modestly before enthusiastically adding, “Me mother loves it, write that down!” The main difference for the band this time around is the helping hand that wasn’t there the last time around. Like all young bands, they struggled to get the foot up they needed to be noticed; “The big difference this time is we’ve got a little bit of support from people, like a bit of good will towards so it’ll be a lot easier this time round.” “We’ve a bit of a profile so it’ll be easier now just to get our foot in the door because we struggled to do that the last time round.” Now that they have that help, they have definitive plans of what they want to do with the near future; “We’ll do the single after this tour, then we’ll just finish the record, and then get another single together either this side of Christmas or the far side, and then just album push.” No doubt that translates to a lot of touring if the band’s past is anything to go by. Before landing places at major festivals the band were, in their own words, “playing every gig we could get; any gig our manager booked we would play. We kind of carpet bombed the country,” he exclaims. Now as the band get back in the van, they are using this opportunity to test out new material on the road, Paul Finn jokes “The sets kind of half classic, then avant garde in the second half.” After discussing the past, the present and the future of the band, conversation relaxes. With the hard questions out of the
way, I gather my belongings expecting the band to start serious prep for their tiring half one am stage time. However The Flaws, having the antithesis of the rockstar attitude, remind me that there is no hurry to leave the dressing room, that my name was added to the guest list and to help myself to any of the food or drink laid out for the band. All this as drummer Colin Berrill hands me another beer. Before long, Paul Finn decides to leave for a sleep in their trusty van, which he has to drive back home to Monaghan after their set. Struggling to pass the time until their set, Shane Malone and Basist Dane McMahon head to the cinema, leaving myself and Colin Berrill to carry on our discussion about everything punk rock; a subject on which the Dundalk native is well qualified to talk on. After enjoying a little musical entertainment á la Fight Like Apes, enough time eventually passed for the band to finally take to the stage, the final act of the night on the Academy two stage. The band played a highly enjoyable set, albeit to a disappointing crowd, which included all the best of the first album along with a number of new songs fresh from the studio, all of which make the prospect of the forthcoming album seem very promising. With the band back in a touring routine, their September 17th gig with Republic of Loose at UCD student bar promises to be a great night. The band themselves looking forward to it. Paul Finn does his best to imitate the clichéd sentiments of many a visiting ‘rockstar’; “We can’t wait, it’s going be a kick ass show! Tell everybody to come down, we just love it here in Ireland. We never really get over to the east coast all that much but when we‘re here it’s always a party.” He exclaims, dripping with sarcasm.
What the band’s is listening to:
Paul Finn: The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
Shane Malone: The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Colin Berrill: Rancid – Let The Dominoes Fall
The Siren 15.9.09
The Siren 15.9.09
All Shook Up Imelda May took time out before her rousing performance at Electric Picnic to chat to Cathy Buckmaster about her thoughts on festivals, musical influences, big breaks and her distinctive style. “The muck, depending on how deep it is, can be the worst part of festivals. I did a festival last year and it sucked me in. I took my foot out and my welly stayed put.” So explains Dublin born Imelda May; the rapidly rising, rockabilly star about festival highs and lows. However, she quickly sees the light and changes her answer; “Oh no, actually, it’s the Portaloos. At the end of the third day of the festival, the Portaloos are the worst.” Yet, despite the periodic noxious odours, there is something uplifting about the scene; our backdrop is the vibrantly colourful, compellingly quirky and acoustically charming, otherworldly Electric Picnic. The emerald isle’s only boutique festival comes alive once a year with bustling circus tents, Victorian carnival rides, glittering fairy lights not to mention the ever-flowing music. Imelda May, obviously taken in by the surroundings, wistfully comments, “Without a doubt, the best part of festivals is the audience. Everyone’s just up for a great time so it’s wonderful when you come out and the audience is going absolutely mad, jumping up and down. I don’t get stage fright but I become anxious in that I hope it goes well; I get revved up and really excited to just get up and do it.” Decked out in her favourite leopard print pattern, this time coming alive in a button up red cardigan to match her brazen red lips, Imelda May emanates a rockabilly radiance and retains such a presence, that you’re sure one has to be born with to possess. A single blonde stripe of hair is wound tightly back but manages to pop in her otherwise raven black tresses. Her kohl lined, intense but warm gaze never fails to drop throughout, poignantly indicating you have her full attention. Sadly, however, she’s had to abandon the pencil skirt and towering heels in favour of rock and roll skinny jeans and knee high boots when faced with the muddy madness blanketing the festival. Considering the fact muck-caked wellies, thigh high legwarmers, woolly hair-covering hats and bare, pale faces are the order of the day among the regular festival goer, Imelda May is probably the only woman within a 50 metre radius who looks so impeccable. However, the surprisingly tight inner Dublin twang, that living in London for the last decade hasn’t influenced, which flows from her ever smiling cherry lips lend her that much desired, down to earth vibe which put all around her at ease. When asked about her distinctive look, Imelda May is seemingly oblivious. “It’s
just what I like. I think you have to be comfortable in your own skin and I suppose the older I get, the more comfortable I get; you don’t really care what anybody else thinks at a certain stage.” “If you want to put leopard print with check; well bloody well why not? Fashion is not important to me; my style isn’t part of a plan or anything.” Imelda explains before injecting one last point on the matter. “Same as yourself really wearing your woolly socks. You just have to be comfortable in what you wear.” She says, rubbing my knee high, knitted, filthy, festival leg warmers. Although charmed by the affection, I’m not sure whether to be flattered or insulted by the comment. However she does concur, music taste and
“I have a very musical family; they all play and sing; typical Irish family where at the party every month, everyone has a party piece. My sister started me singing when I was a kid.” “She sang in church and she used to bring me along to her folk groups and taught me
“I think you have to be comfortable in your own skin and I suppose the older I get, the more comfortable I get” style often appear to go hand in hand. “It seems to and more obviously so with me. I love the 50s style and I love the pencil skirts and I love my tight jeans and I love my leopard print.” she says passionately pointing to her leopard cardigan, “and it just makes me feel good.” When asked about her big break, Imelda May describes the incident with the disillusionment of an artist who’s been gigging for far too long. “I’ve been traipsing my way around the world for many years doing gigs anywhere I was asked.” “I suppose my big break was being on the Jools Holland show; Later with Jools Holland. He asked us to be on the show and we weren’t even signed at the time so that was absolutely magic. It all kind of took off and we got a record deal after that.” “Despite all the screaming, you don’t know what’s going to come after. Hindsight is a wonderful thing; we didn’t know there was going to be a record deal after, we were just thinking ‘Deadly! We didn’t make a mistake’.” Quite the opposite in fact, Imelda May and her band wowed an intimidating audience at Later with Jools Holland who included Jeff Beck, Elbow and Roots Manuva. As well as the array of musician fans she acquired that significant night, the national
“I have a very musical family; they all play and sing; typical Irish family where at the party every month, everyone has a party piece”
exposure rocketed Imelda May to fame seemingly overnight. Imelda May describes her own sound as “a mixture of all the things I love; rockabilly blues, jazz, country, bit of ska in there. Just throw it all in.” she exclaims. Imelda May seemed to come out of no where for the average music punter, yet she contradicts the idea of overnight success. “It hasn’t been quite overnight” she laughs; a loud, weary giggle which radiates through the room. “People just started getting interested.” “We had a good fan base before because
“Hindsight is a we’d been gigging a long time so it was for our family and friends and the wonderful thing; we great people who’d been coming to our gigs many years. As soon as I turned my didn’t know there for phone on after the Jools Holland show, was going to be a there were loads of people cheering and shouting and it was just a really great record deal after, feeling.” we were just think- Talent like Imelda May’s is rarely haphazard and this theory is reinforced by ing ‘Deadly! We her description of her home life when was growing up and the ways it indidn’t make a mis- she fluenced her present career. “ take’”
my first chords on the guitar. My brother’s in a trad band. I was just jamming with him in The Brazen Head a couple of nights ago. We were there until all hours; I was playing my bodhrán, he was playing guitar.” Being the baby in a family with five children in a two-bedroom house, like it or lump it, was a sure way to be forcefully subjected to your family’s musical tastes. “It was my mother and my father who started me off listening to Elvis and Bing Crosby. My brother was playing the likes of Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent and I really thought it was fantastic. Then I heard Billie Holiday and that got me into the jazz and blues so all of those would have influenced me, different ones for different reasons.” Yet despite constantly being surrounded by music her whole life, Imelda May never considered the idea of it as a career which left her in a predicament many a student
will be familiar with. “I didn’t know I waned to be a singer as I was already doing it. I was a teenager trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.” “I did a year in an art graphics course in Ballyfermot. I kept thinking what do I want to do and I was already gigging.” She exclaims. “I didn’t realise you could do it as a job. I just thought it was something I did because I loved doing it. Then someone mentioned the idea of a music career to me and I thought I can’t, not try this; I just had to do it, so I did.” When it came to the choice between music and art, it seemed there wasn’t one for Imelda May. “I didn’t find it difficult choosing as I was making myself do the art stuff. I loved the end result but I used to drag my heels when I had to do the actual drawing. But music, I was always doing and I was obsessed about it.” Many a blues singer is familiar with the idea that no matter how unfortunate the circumstance, they get their best material and write their most memorable work when they’re in a state of utter despair. Yet Imelda May doesn’t find herself constricted to these moments. “Different states of mind for different songs I suppose; somebody might say something and you think, I like that so you write it down. However, I think it is easier to write when you’re miserable because you’re sitting at home anyway. When you’re happy, you’re too busy out having fun and being happy. So I try to make myself write when I’m happy as I find it harder as it’s a good way to challenge myself.” With that, Imelda May is tapped on the shoulder and so exchanges goodbye pleasantries. After flashing one last cherry lipped grin, she is swiftly pulled away to deliver a thoroughly rousing and old school rock and roll performance on the Southern Comfort Crawdaddy stage to her hundreds of enthralled fans.
Build on the basics: Jeans are the staple of every student wardrobe, so invest in a couple of good pairs. Chunky knits, oversized cardigans and classic sweaters will see you through the years in college. Layering is the Holy Grail of student dressing; it is also advisable with our characteristically unpredictable Irish weather. Wear t-shirts over long sleeve tops and under waistcoats, cardigans or blazers (or all three). Add a splash of colour with a hat, scarf and gloves. Finally, throw on Converse and the ubiquitous hoodie for the days when you just don’t care. Be comfortable: Avoid tops too low or skirts too high during the
With many a fresh faced first year pushing the boundaries of their new found fashion freedom, Karina Bracken lists some essentials in the guide to student dressing The first time at college can be a daunting experience. Unlike the cosseted world of school, you are pretty much left to your own devices. New academic, social and sartorial freedom means that is it also an exciting phase. Initially selecting what to wear everyday may have you wishing for the time when you could tumble out of bed and stumble into your school uniform. Never fear, wardrobe advice is here.
Wet-proof your wardrobe: The mud-caked, flowery wellies that you wore to the Summer festivals can be resurrected from the nether regions of your wardrobe. They will come in handy on the days that you have to traverse the water-logged UCD campus to have lunch, meet friends or simply have lectures in two different postcodes.
Otherwise watch out for the notorious “magic squares”; loose blocks of concrete that will spurt and soak your feet with grimy water. Umbrellas have been sexy ever since Rihanna gyrated around one in that memorable tune. While it is true that raincoats will never be fashionable, neither is sitting in classes all day soaked to the bone.
The High Heel
Since the age of the ancient Egyptians shoes have indicated the gender, class, race or ethnicity of a person. In murals dating back to 3500 BC, upper class males and females were depicted in higher heels than anyone else. Actors in Ancient Greece and Rome often sported wood or cork heels to indicate the social status or importance of the characters they were depicting. In the middle ages a form of high heel emerged named ‘pattens’ which covered expensive shoes and protected them from dirt. In the 1400s in Turkey heels called ‘Chopines’ were created and remained popular in Europe until the mid 1600s. Chopines were known to vary from seven to thirty inches and women often needed the assistance of servants or canes to walk. It was believed that women in Turkey and China were put in Chopines to prevent them from escaping harems, as well as for aesthetic value. Catherine De Medici made high heels popular in the 1500s, after wearing them due to an insecurity of height in comparison to her husband’s taller mistress. In 1700 Louis XIV made a rule that made sure that only nobility were entitled to wear heels, adding that none of them could surpass the height of his. In 1791, Napoleon banned heels altogether in an effort for equality. Despite this, Marie Antoinette Boy : Luc. Law was executed in two inch heels in 1793. Style Icon : Mods With the invention of the sewFavorite Shop: Vintag e ing machines in the 1860s, high Store heels came back into fashion, with some even reaching heights of five l ki n g a b o a t ut… or six inches. Naive Victorians s believed that these heels ei n o could even be beneficial e e th ofor health and alleviCom th of N hoo en my C ill be ate back aches and e t r fou er Jim ags w es in stooping. r b b d o t m n d s ve nd ha &M cate o In 1888, i t s H a i s h t shoe ble fromand sop ailable n the first a v l high heel avai lin. Sexywill be aur to evees c Dub ssories t glamo fits. Pri p. factory
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Girl Two: Caoimhe, Vet nursing Favorite style decade: 1950’s Favorite Shop: Top Shop Style Inspiration: Mix of everything
day. There is a reason they call it evening wear. Heels may make your legs look longer and seem like a great idea in the morning, but by the afternoon you will be cursing your crippled feet. If you cannot resist, keep a pair of flats in your locker. Personalise: Don’t be afraid to economise. The recession has made people more imaginative and creative when it comes to dressing. A Pashmina in a striking colour or design is a great addition to any day or night wardrobe. Accessories are great way to infuse personality in an outfit, and they can be a great conversation starter. Plus, it is easy to find quirky and unusual necklaces, bracelets and earrings in the sale sections of shops.
The History of…
Arts Girl one : Laura, 2nd year. Moss Style icon: Kate Top Favorite Shops: Shop and Urban Outfitters py Best Trend: Prep
The Siren 15.9.09
opened in America. The depression of the 1930s made the style of shoes more practical, lower and wider. In 1950’s with the post war fashion revival in full swing Christian Dior and Roger Vivier collaborated to make a low cut, vamp, Louis shoe with the first ever stiletto heel for a chic and tall look. This changed in the 1960s when the feminist movement saw high heels as some kind of attack on women forcing them to be uncomfortable and degraded, heels became low and square. In the 1980s high heels came back into fashion with experimental fashion and feminists debates claiming that heels could be pleasurable to the female and bring them power and authority. In the 1990s with the popularity of shows such as Dallas and Dynasty oozing the idea of excess heels became higher and more exaggerated with the help of Jimmy Choo and Emma Hope. Now days, high heels come in hundreds of styles and brands and as trends come and go I doubt there are many women who could have a drool free mouth after seeing a pair of Manolo Blahniks. Aoifa Smyth
The Siren 15.9.09
Chic H S I M D A O N O M THE h
Knee High Socks
With winter around the corner, let us take advantage of these few weeks when we can bear our knees. For a back to college preppie look try American Apparel’s knee high tube sock.
amines y approach, Cathal Gara ex As the Winter months rapnidlwa rm in the coming months the trends set to keep me Say goodbye to Geek-Chic, and hello to the Classic. Autumn and Winter trends will show the demise of the geek while the classic and noble look is resurrected, so forget about Casio watches and black plastic specs, and think more Italiandandy and blue-collar preppy with a dose of sexual allure. Achieving this look may at first sound difficult, but as long as you keep in mind two key adjectives; elegant and modern, you should be fine. The man who achieves this look is alluring and trendy, yet always retains a touch of elegance and natural charm. Some fundamental elements of the classic formal style such as the bowtie (multi-patterned) or the gilet are now being revitalised. When worn right, a bow-tie is a sure-fire way to provide an ample dose of theatrics into your outfit; it’s very hard to be overlooked when one has a bowtie fastened around the neck, making it a very power-
ful party prop. As for the trousers, Levi’s 307 and Paul Smith are right on target with various tweed designs, however for the student budget I’d recommend trying Wild Child, The Harlequin or even Oxfam, which is always worth a quick glance for anachronistic items such as these. This look proposes subdued colours, with grey tones taking a particular prominence. Purples, whites and greens also declare themselves to be important with shades of these showing up in various collections, including H&M’s new range of flannel shirts, pants and jackets. The last main trend of the cold season, which is becoming so popular right now that I predict its dominance over all other trends, is of course Military. This look is all about square cuts, formality, clean lines and double breasted button-ups. Military boots are an essential
item for this look as they help convey a manly aura whilst also being practical in Ireland’s dreary winter. They contrast well against skinny jeans, which are generally effeminate in nature. Monochrome colours are a good idea for military items, as they come across as sharp and more formal, which is quintessentially what the military is all about. When trying to find military attire look for exposed zips, epaulettes, extra pockets and square cuts. The best place to find these items is All Saints, who are doing a great selection of military style shirts and jackets in their new collection. So, throw on your military shirt, jacket and skinny jeans and tuck them into your work boots. This juxtaposition of styles will make you noticeable and work well all through the autumn and winter months. A-Ten-Hut!
Love it or hate it the eighties are back for now. Think shoulder pads, Dynasty, Dolly Parton and jewel tones. River Island are channeling the era with neon and angular silhouettes.
Top Man Autumn/ Winter collection
Shirts, blazers and chinos inspired by the working men’s clubs in England. The brogue shoe, flat cap and trench coat are here again. Top off the look with a granddad scarf and handkerchief in pocket.
First impressions last a lifetime Aoife Hamill reflects on her first week in UCD and the lasting impression your fashion choices can make Every fresher arriving in UCD is crossing a vast expanse, the cultural vacuum between a small home to the metropolis that is first year. You are probably moving from an insulated, cosy valley of squinting windows, where everyone knows you to the anonymous, nebulous mass of the Belfield Bar, where nobody knows you at all. You will love it all and fear it all. Scoping out new friends is especially difficult when you have no idea if they are nice people or knobs, snobs, freaks, geeks and weirdos; it is a leap into the murky, great unknown. So, shallow as it is, we will judge who will be easy to chat to by what they are wearing. It’s all we know. By scanning someone from ear studs to socks, you can try to navigate this ocean of humanity. When a lonesome first year begins chit chatting with the other forlorn students outside class, what she is actually thinking is; Do your Ugg boots mean you are rich? Does that black
nail polish mean Goth? Is the pink look you are sporting aiming for an Elle Woods imitation? Do those flip flops mean you are a hippy? Is your tan real? Does that mean you spent the summer travelling?
Do your Ugg boots mean you are rich? Does that black nail polish mean Goth? Is the pink look you are sporting aiming for an Elle Woods imitation? Does your bob mean you are high maintenance? Does that school bag make you sensible and practical but still a kid? Isn’t it much more stylish to strain one shoulder and put your ‘Aula International’ book into the newest €50.50 handbag from River Island? None of these thoughts are meant to
be mean, they are like sneezes; they just happen. These first impressions only float about for the first two minutes, and then will usually make you feel horrible twenty minutes after getting to know the person. Clearly, we would never dislike someone because of what they are wearing. By people, one obviously think of girls. Whether or not you are wearing fake tan does not matter to a guy. This is not because guys love us either way; it is because guys never notice, either way. Tan, hair, make up, what ever. The things a guy will notice are random and unforeseeable. So the effort you make will be for your competition. First impressions cannot be helped. They are absolutely human. Everyone is a critic. First Impressions also don’t last, so if you are still mortified about turning up on the first day with the stamp from D2 on your forehead after falling asleep on your hand, let it go. It will add to your legend status.
Eek Pastry Sneakers Another failed attempt of a fashion range by the celebrity offspring of Rev Run; Angela and Vanessa Simmons. When will they learn to be content with the millions they inherit by doing nothing? Flashy, trashy, shiny, sparkly and Burberry? Never a good cocktail.
PVC Leggings Sorry to all those who binned their entire wardrobes for the pleather phase, but luckily, it is slowly but surely disappearing from a store near you! Say no to camel-toe.
Manorexia You heard it here first weedy indie boys, the manly man is back. So grab some dumbbells and spinach and off you go.
The Siren 15.9.09
Wilde and wicked Dorian Gray Starring: Ben Barnes, Colin Firth Reviewed by: Katie Godwin
Away we Go Starring: John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph, Reviewed by: Ashling Maguire The final line of this movie, “I fucking hope so.” is perfectly fitting for such an optimistic film. It tells the story of a young couple, Bert (The Office’s John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph of Saturday Night Live), and their search for the perfect home in which to raise their unborn child. The resulting road trip includes several hilarious but often poignant visits to friends and relatives across America. The film seems to be split into two distinct parts. The first providing countless laugh out loud moments with Lily’s (Allison Janney) outrageous attitude towards her comi-
Oliver Parker’s new film is an adaptation on the Oscar Wildes classic novel ‘A Picture of Dorian Gray’. The story which is set in Victorian England, centers on the character of Dorian Gray, a young gentleman who barters his soul with the devil in order to retain his youthful beauty. At the encouragement of, Lord Henry Wotton, played by Colin Firth, Dorian embarks on a lust filled, hedonistic lifestyle indulging his every passion to excess. All the while, his inner ugliness is represented in a portrait of him painted by his friend Basil Hallward, which is hidden in the attic of his mansion. This hell fire lifestyle however eventually catches up with him and leads to his ultimate downfall.
cally awkward children as well as the seahorse loving, stroller hating parenting style of LN (Maggie Gyllenhall).The second part is noticeably more serious, dealing with topics such as miscarriage and abandonment. Although the notable change in tone leaves the viewer feeling confused as to what the film is trying to achieve, the genuineness of both the script and the performance of the two main actors is unvarying throughout. Their continuing optimism despite the disappointment their friends and relatives provide is such that you find yourself wanting them to succeed. The soundtrack is a huge downfall for this film. Almost all the songs are written and performed by Alex Murdoch; though some compliment the scenes well, it becomes far too repetitive and frankly annoying. A variety of artists would have better suited the ever changing locations in the film.
The classic story has been adapted for cinema before, most memorably in 1945 with the wonderfully Machiavellian George Sanders as the seductive Lord Henry Wotton. While the tone and main ideas of Wilde’s novel are captured in the movie, in places the plot seems to move far too abruptly. Dorian’s transformation from an innocent young man to a soulless miscreant takes place too suddenly. His relationship with Sybil Vane is not given enough importance and ends after one rather blasé argument. Throughout the film there are many substantial discrepancies with Wilde’s work, not least the sudden time jump from Vic-
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds Reviewed by: Fiona Kennedy Directed and written by Greg Mottola, the creator of Superbad, Adventureland is a coming-ofage comedy set in America in the summer of 1987. We are initially introduced to James, a sensitive and idealistic young man who is a self confessed romantic and virgin. After his graduation, he is unable to follow through on his summer plans of a life changing tour of Europe. Instead he is forced to take a lowly job at the local amusement park, Adventureland. This is where he meets Em and it is
torian Britain to Britain of the First World War. Even Dorian’s downfall, the great climax of the original novel, is altered and adapted for the screen. The cast of the movie also proves somewhat disappointing. Ben Barnes who plays the part of Dorian, is unfortunately not as handsome as the book suggests. The supporting actors, through all the corsets, hats, wigs and feathers of Victorian/early twentieth century fashion fail to make much of an impression. Colin Firth alone fits his part as Lord Henry perfectly. The character of Basil, played by Ben Chaplin, is under developed and his obsession with Dorian is not depicted to a sufficient extent.
where they begin their tumultuous romance. Adventureland is different to Mottola’s well known film Superbad in that there is a lot more subtle humour and the movie focuses more on the development of the central characters. In saying that, there are genuine laugh out loud moments and the movie contains its fair share of pot and erection related gags. The movie is set to an amazing soundtrack, which features an eclectic assortment of songs that effectively represents the musical diversity of the eighties. These include music from David Bowie, Crowded House, and The Cure. Adventureland is a witty comedy yet it is also grounded in reality and successfully manages to engage the audience in the turmoil surrounding James and Em. If you liked Mottola’s previous work, this is a film for you.
There are however good points to the movie. Parker creates a captivating gothic mood throughout which you cannot help but be captivated by. The love affair at the end of the movie between Dorian and Lord Henrys daughter, although an entirely new invention on the part of Parker, does add an element of romantic tragedy to the movie, which is presumably aimed at the female audience. Again although in variance with the original work, the end of the movie does round up well and comes to a satisfactory close. Despite its unnecessary faults, the movie clearly shows that the Faustian style story is still popular and resonates with something deep within us all.
Starring: Audrina Partridge, Rumer Willis Reviewed by: Fiona Kennedy Sorority Row focuses on six sorority sisters, Jessica, Cassidy, Chugs, Claire, Megan and Ellie who all participate in a prank for revenge on Megan’s cheating ex. This sinister practical joke goes extremely wrong with dire consequences for everyone involved. The bonds of sisterhood are tested but can they uphold the sorority’s pledge off secrecy and solidarity even when stalked by a maniacal serial killer wielding a pimped out tire iron? Of course not. Directed by Stewart Hendler this movie is a remake of the 1983
horror thriller The House on Sorority Row, and probably should not have been remade. The plot is nonsensical and riddled with obvious and gaping plot holes. The movie is full of clichés (the killer wears a long black hooded cloak) and there are ridiculous if not obvious plot twists. In saying that if you are looking for a movie that you don’t have to think about and you just want to have a laugh at, it may be worth a watch (when it comes out on DVD). The killer’s revelation and their reasons for all the terror and gruesome bloodshed were disappointing as I had misplaced hope for an ending of more substance. I have no idea what the writers could possibly elaborate on in order to produce a sequel but the ending left me with an ominous feeling they may attempt too.
The Siren 15.9.09
dead cats bouncing on a hot tin roof sugar
Philip Connolly talks Whitesnake, the Guardian and Jannene Garofolo with Dead Cat Bounce as they prepare their show “wired” for the bulmers comedy festival later this month “We wanted to end it on a bit of a high note and actually the day before Saturday, one of the guys, his guitar broke so we had to talk to fill up time a bit. So, what I actually ended up saying, was promising a big singer on if they came back the following night so the next night we did the white snakes song here I go again on my own. We did a cover of that with Andrew Stanley and Damien Clark to come on and sing it. And Fred cuckoo came on and played three melodicas, It was really good fun. I’m not sure if you’d call it comedy or anything but it was good fun and really hilarious” Still recovering from the Electric Picnic, Dublin based comedy sketch troupe Dead Cat Bounce have been kept extremely busy since their recent formation in 2008, and their recent trip to Edinburgh has done there reputation no harm. Having been described as “amazingly talented but they are also brilliantly funny and superbly entertaining” and “flawless,” it seems as if their career may be about to take off. They even pick up the obligatory celebrity fan, of at least so they thought. “Jannene Garofolo did a show in the same venue as us and obviously, she’s a Hollywood actor or whatever so when she came to our show she kind of stayed near the
back.” “Someone in the audience said she spent the whole show doubling over with laughter and then at the end she stood up for a standing ovation and we were like, wow, you know that’s high praise. But our sound man was sitting behind her and said she had apologised that she had a really bad back and had to keep bending over and touching her toes, and at the end she was standing up to make a quick exit out of there.” Having started out as somewhat of a sketch troupe, Dead Cat Bounce have taken the road less travelled and finished up somewhere surprisingly original, “We started off doing improv comedy when we were students. We started writing bits and pieces like sketches and stuff. We did sketches and stuff as a group called H-bam here in Dublin, we were popular enough with students, I suppose our crowed.” “So doing things like that for a while, there was always a musical element and it just kind of developed. I suppose about a year and a half ago the 4 of us weren’t really doing anything we wanted to do so we went for it. We wrote one show, which kind of took off. By pure chance Will Ferrell was in the audience and he really enjoyed it so that got us a bit of a profile, then R.T.E
came along and started talking to us and it just kind of went well that first time out and kind of snowballed a little bit and we’ve just been working hard just trying to make is stick.” So at this stage, one has to consider whether they are more comedy or music; “At this stage we’re definitely leaning towards band, you know? The songs and stuff have really taken off for us and we really enjoy them and probably do those best. There’s still some sketches and stuff in what we’re doing and that’s kind of comedy, it’s hard to name it because no one else is doing it, it’s kind of rock and roll, comedy band.” “Usually what happens is you come up with a hook line you have one line for a song and then just start messing with it. They come about quite differently a lot of instruments around that we’ve collected over the years. Mick is pretty talented with his computers and keyboard which kind of make any sound you like we can have like a whole orchestra and fresh hip hop. So we kind of mess with stuff and see what works play it in front of people and see if it works and if it doesn’t then fix it or abandon it.” Their R.T.E show had a definite cult following but in may be a while before we see them on Irish T.V again, “Recession hits
so beyond that it’s a little hard to say, but there’s a lot of stuff we’re developing and hoping to, do even on other TV stations in the U.K and the States, we’re talking to a few.” “So hopefully something will come of that but really at the minute, what we’re trying to do is develop stuff and tour as much as possible and we really want to record some of the songs. And we’re touring around Ireland a few places especially with the Bulmer’s festival and in a few months time we’ll be going to a festival in Australia, it looks like we will anyway, it’s not absolutely definite.” Having already charmed Montreal, they took to Edinburgh with gusto, even making an appearance on Sky News, “Yea, I’m never sure where the Sky News thing came from, I think we just appeared on it and somebody noticed and let us know. The Guardian pod cast was really fun with Janenne Garofolo, Miles Jupitus and the Pyjama Men; it was great like being taken an extra step more seriously.” Among all this they did manage to get some down time during the hectic schedule “Ah yeah well there’s plenty going on we came on about half seven till nine and you’d need a few beers to unwind. Edinburgh is a great place and all the comedi-
ans were there and we know them.” “We’re staying in the same building and people you know from playing there every year would be there, people you’d see every year in Edinburgh people going to a few shows and reviewing shows and even people living around Edinburgh in bars at night. Ah it was great fun and we had a good time this year.” With preparations for their Dublin appearance well underway, there newly gained reputation has preceded them and it’s no wonder that they expect to sell out the Sugar Club twice over. “We’re going to do our show wired which we’ve been developing for a while now. It’s the one we preformed in Edinburgh but we’ve been changing it a lot. I thought it was ready when we got to Edinburgh but we’re refining it all the time. We got a lot of good reviews and good responses in Scotland. I’m pretty excited about how it will go for Bulmer’s; there have been a lot of changes done to it. We’re pretty excited as to how people like it.”
The Siren 15.9.09
The White Tiger Aravind Adiga By Aine Keegan
Tasty T.V. Katie Godwin sinks her teeth into True Blood as Sookie Stackhouse comes to television in the Alan Ball adaptation of Charlaine Harris’ Southern vampire series True blood is an erotic, fantasy filled TV show based on the book series by Charlaine Harris. The story is told through the eyes of Sookie, an attractive, Texan waitress who is regarded as the town freak because of her unique ability to read minds. Bored by her life and the mindless thoughts of the people around her, she is excited when a vampire turns up one night at the bar that she works in. This is the first time a vampire has visited her town, Bon Temps, although vampires have been living among humans for the past decade. An artificial blood drink, that was invented ten years before the story takes place, has enabled vampires to integrate into the
world of humans, but of course they can only do this by night. While most humans fear vampires and act biased toward them, some are fascinated and aroused by these bloodsucking creatures and interested in vampire blood which they can use to get high. There have been so many vampire-related movies and books in the past year it’s easy to become bored of the idea. However the compelling fusion of real life with fantasy makes True Blood anything but boring. It takes intoxicating vampire blood, crucifixions by the church, telepathy, morphine and throws them into a blender with real and contemporary problems: scandal-
ous sex stories, murder, torture and love. The True Blood book is like a refreshing smoothie for the soul and the TV version of the show which is coming soon to Ireland is even more delicious. While movies and TV shows rarely live up to the imaginative worlds of the books they are based on, this cutting edge programme is one of the few exceptions. The raunchy theme tune playing against a slideshow of bizarre and frightening images gets you in the mood for an hour of enthralling vampire-on-human action. The cast is superbly selected and the gripping drama that unfolds in the town of Bon Temps could not have been more
perfectly played out. Mouth-watering Alexander Skarsgård is particularly enjoyable to watch. Action filled and simultaneously romantic, the show has something to offer everyone and is a must see. Seasons one and two are now available in full on HBO and will be coming to Channel four this Autumn but if you can’t wait to find out what happens, the 10-part book series is a worthwhile read.
In his debut novel, winner of the Man Booker Prize 2008, Aravind Adiga creates a vivid portrayal of modern India. The story centres around the character of Balram Halwai, the White Tiger of the book’s title. This memorable tale closely follows Balram’s journey away from the crushing poverty of rural India and details the circumstances through which he went from being a poor hardworking boy to a wanted murderer. The novel is narrated by Balram through a series of long letters to Premier Wen Jiabao of China. Balram writes these letters as he believes Mr. Jiabao must be told the story of the real India on the eve of his State visit. The black humored narrative allows Adiga to make interesting observations about Indian society and shows a picture of India that outsiders rarely encounter. Balram’s sardonic voice gives an insight into the cultural divisions of modern India as he describes how he is constantly trying to better himself and break free from his lowly chaste to follow his dream is to become an entrepreneur and make it big. The White Tiger is quick-witted, sarcastic and an often hilarious read.
The Ladder and the moon Sisi Rabenstein Playing to a full-capacity audience friday lunchtime, “The Ladder and the Moon”, received a response every original show dreams of. The devised piece that began with ruminations on the themes of ‘imagination’ and ‘childhood’ is made of numerous short skits, mainly played out by three children and is set in a dark attic, the perfect place to let innocent imagination run wild. The simplicity of the idea is established within moments of the show’s beginning; the premier skit is 3 anthropomorphized, coloured lights displaying fear and joy in each others presence. In the same vein, the show contains barely any words, relying on a surprisingly real depiction of childish physicality from all actors, most nota-
bly in Ian Toner’s gormless yet endearing look through the 4th wall, underlight by a flashlight, having scared the other children. Not so surprising is the mature undercurrent of the piece itself. The recurring theme of wonderment at the moon is used to display the acknowledgement of impossibility (in this case, in reaching the moon) that children show from an earlier age than one would expect but still nodding to the imeasurable imagination of an intelligent, active child. Given that the piece was devised by established members of DramSoc who temselves are members of an outside theatre company, ‘Monsters and Players’ (taking part in the Dublin ‘Absolut Fringe’ festival this month with ‘A Moment of Suitable Silence’) the understated acting becomes less of a surprise and a more critical view
becomes necessary. At times the brievity of the skits can seem abrupt and unfinished but the actors show awareness of the restrictions imposed by only having 3 people on stage or backstage, at anytime. Cute segweys into the next skit (sush as Eoghan Carrick creating the bench used next by pretending to make an unsatisfactory car) allow the audience to share the home-made atmosphere created by these ‘children’. Hailed as the ‘feel-good show of the year’, this 40 minute playleft the audience with a warm fuzzy feeling that just wouldn’t dispell. While it may be inappropriate, given the subject matter, to compare the afterglow to that of good sex, perhaps it can be said that on leaving the theatre audience members were ‘happier than a small child eating a Happy Meal while watching “Wall-E” on DVD’.
College Tribune Siren Entertainment Supplement 15th September 2009